Up until now it’s been virtually impossible to find a good Uruguay travel book. Why? Because they are written by people who fly in for a week and then leave. The Guru’Guay Guide to Montevideo is the first insider’s travel guide to Montevideo, capital of Uruguay, written by Karen A Higgs, author of this site and resident in Uruguay since 2000.

It’s indispensable for anyone visiting Uruguay. As you’ll see from the five-star reviews on Amazon.

Where to buy The Guru’Guay Guide

Paperbacks from Amazon and CreateSpace. Or get the digital book right now on your tablet, phone or computer for just $14.99.

* Support independent publishing. Buy direct from the Guru’Guay store and CreateSpace (they pay more generous royalties than Amazon).

What’s in The Guru’Guay Guide to Montevideo

140 pages on:


  • flying into Uruguay, including a candid look at airlines that you should avoid
  • getting to (or from) Montevideo from Buenos Aires considering the fastest, cheapest and most leisurely routes
  • the best time to visit and how long to stay with insights that only a long-term resident can give you
  • public holidays, which are practically religiously observed (only they are not –religious that is–, in Uruguay, as there is strictly respected separation of church and state) so it’s essential to know when they are
  • holidays and festivals you must not miss, like the mysterious Sea Goddess celebrations
  • how to select the best neighbourhood to stay based on your personal preferences
  • architecturally-lovely accommodation options for all pockets
  • personal safety dispelling some of the myths that out there on the internet and practical tips including for specific neighbourhoods
  • getting around on public transport like a local
  • driving and car rental, including the logic behind seemingly erratic traffic patterns and driving habits
  • tipping demystified ie why you don’t tip taxi drivers but do tip street parking attendants
  • money exchange including troubleshooting ATM withdrawals

Things to Do

  • guided tours to wine, marijuana, soccer, carnival and more worth your while
  • great day trips, from UNESCO heritage site Colonia de Sacramento, to glitzy Punta del Este, to the Santa Lucia wetlands
  • architectural highlights in possibly the most Art-deco city after New York
  • art museums and underground art cooperatives
  • beaches including which of Montevideo’s ten is best for children, which has windsurf and boat rental, etc
  • shopping and buying original gifts Really. Ever heard of a guidebook that helps you with this thankless task?
  • shopping for wine-lovers Wow, right? Where to go to get expert advice and dah goods
  • why Carnival in Montevideo is so unique and where and when to track down the best (and worst) of carnival, even off-season
  • tango Here tango is something the locals do, it’s not “for export”. One milonga, or dance salon, even takes place in a living room
  • where Montevideans go to listen to live music and who the best live acts to check out are For a country of three million, Uruguay has a huge amount of highly talented musicians. You can easily pay less than 10 USD to see a world-class band in a tiny cafe
  • gay Montevideo has a small but charming scene

Food & Drink

  • what time to do the locals eat and how do what Uruguayans do to get through to a 10pm dinnertime
  • street food and other local specialities
  • wine and craft beer from Uruguay are winning prizes internationally. The guide points you to which to try and why
  • restaurants for people desperate for gourmet and veggie options
  • restaurants for wine-lovers
  • historic cafes, the most charming, and the grittiest
  • breakfast and brunch, not typically worth boasting about in Argentina and Uruguay, the author is on a personal quest to Make Breakfast Big in Montevideo and has tracked down some great spots to start your day

Society & Culture

  • history How did this tiny country get to be so progressive? Your burning questions answered.
  • the Uruguayan character, a chapter of entirely personal anecdotes that illustrate that Uruguayans (from presidents to petty thieves) are friendly and down-to-earth
  • expressions EVERYONE uses on the street and what they mean
  • films to watch
  • albums to listen to and
  • books to read before you come.